Division II is the only NCAA division that conducts “National Championships Festivals,” an Olympic-style event in which a number of national championships are held at a single site over several days.
The goals of festival are to enhance the student-athlete experience, create more awareness and exposure for Division II sports, and increase attendance by hosting multiple championships in one location. Each festival features opening and closing ceremonies, social opportunities for student-athletes, and community-outreach events. Student-athletes are housed in centrally located hotels, allowing for an athlete-village atmosphere.
The first festival was for spring sports in Orlando, Fla., in 2004. Subsequent festivals occurred in fall 2006 at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla., spring 2008 (Houston), winter 2009 (Houston), fall 2010 (Louisville, Ky.), spring 2012 (Louisville, Ky.), winter 2013 (Birmingham, Ala.), fall 2014 (Louisville, Ky.) and spring 2016 (Denver).
The festivals are held on a rotational basis for the fall, winter and spring sports seasons, giving student-athletes a competitive opportunity to experience at least one during their intercollegiate athletics career. The next festival is for winter sports March 7-12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.